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Author Log, Winter 2020; Feudal

Pruning in the vineyard is one of the most idyllic times in my vigneron lifestyle. It is as close to my escapist hermit island as I can get and still have a healthy family life. In the brief hours between a day’s farm work and a night’s sleep, though, Wendy & I often escape into […]

Winery Log, Fall 2019; Twenty-one

While lugging this year’s freshly-picked grapes into the cooler, a family member complained about having to heft the grapes an additional time for weighing. Given the number to times we already have to touch those grapes, it struck me as amusing, from both a farm work and wine-grower perspective. First off, vineyards are farming, with […]

Winery log, Fall 2019; Wine tasting with the sommeliers

Every art form we humans enjoy has opinionated experts ready to guide and train others in that art’s appreciation. We find it with movies, food, music, books, and yes, particularly wine. Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanack: “Beauty, like supreme dominion, is but supported by opinion.” Catchy, especially for our ambassador to France and […]

Vineyard Log, Summer 2019; Shamir

Folks who see my novels for sale in the tasting room often ask where I find the time to write. This time of year, I don’t. It’s the vines who are busy spinning yarns. This is the time of year to simply listen to them tell me their ancient tales, whisper their secrets, and share […]

Author’s Log, Winter 2019; Marinade pt. 2

So marinade can make a huge difference to food and makes a big difference to wine, but it is also a unique ingredient to better writing. You can throw salt & pepper and a touch of garlic on a steak and pan-fry it up in minutes. It’ll be good. But not every steak is prime […]

Winery Log, Winter 2019: Marinade pt. 1

Time does exciting things to wine as it is first made and then ages. How long grapes hang on the vine starts the ticking clock. What temperature did the picked grapes reach? How soon is it crushed, how hard, and for how long is it pressed? Once a wine is fermented from the juice, the […]

Vineyard log, Winter 2019

(me in Virginia Tech vineyard seminar) “I adore pruning.” (young fellow student in class ) “Yeah, sure. Numb fingers in the freezing cold, the canes thwapping you in the face. You’ll come to hate it soon enough.” (me) “I’ve been pruning for twenty years. When do you think this hate will kick in?” Pruning is […]

Author’s Log: Fall 2018 Rebooting

Starting over is cathartic for artists. Gut wrenching, painful, but from that can come artistic growth. So in the late 1990’s, I started over in so many ways. During this rebuilding time, I met my soulmate and wife. I don’t know why she fell in love with me, but whatever the original reason, we were […]